- a smoothbore gun, usually used for firing a charge of shot at short range, as in hunting small game
- Football an offensive formation, esp. for passing, in which the quarterback takes the snap while standing several yards behind the line of scrimmageoften shotgun formation
- done or made under duress
- with no fixed direction or target
- designating a long, narrow house, apartment, etc. with rooms arranged one behind the other
- Historical in the W U.S., to go along as an armed guard, esp. with the driver of a stagecoach
- to accompany for protection, as in the front seat of a motor vehicle
- A smoothbore gun that fires shot over short ranges. Also called scattergun.
- Football An offensive formation, used especially for passing, in which the quarterback receives the snap several yards behind the line of scrimmage.
- Southern US See shotgun house.
- Of, relating to, or using a shotgun.
- Obtained by or involving coercion: a shotgun compromise.
- Covering a wide range in a haphazard or ineffective manner: shotgun methods of testing the hypothesis that wasted time and money.
transitive verbshot·gunned, shot·gun·ning, shot·guns
Origin of shotgunInterj. and idiom, probably from shotgun messenger, a private armed guard who protected strongboxes and other valuable shipments on stagecoaches and rode in the seat next to the driver.
(countable and uncountable, plural shotguns)
- A gun which fires loads typically consisting of small metal balls, called shot, from a cartridge.
- (slang) The front passenger seat in a vehicle, next to the driver; so called because the position of the shotgun-armed guard on a horse-drawn stage-coach, wagon train, or gold transport was next to the driver on a forward-mounted bench seat.
- I call shotgun! (I claim the right to sit in the passenger seat.)
- (US) A one-story dwelling with no hallways or corridors, with the rooms arranged in a straight line. Mostly heard in the southern United States.
- Elvis Presley was born in a two-bedroom shotgun in Tupelo, Mississippi.
- (American football) A play formation in which the quarterback is a few feet behind the snapper when the ball is hiked, ideally allowing for an easier pass play.
(third-person singular simple present shotguns, present participle shotgunning, simple past and past participle shotgunned)
- (slang, smoking) To inhale from a pipe or other smoking device, followed shortly by an exhalation into someone else’s mouth.
- (informal) To verbally lay claim to (something)
- I got a day off because I shotgunned it.
- (baseball) To hit the ball directly back at the pitcher.
- (US, slang) To rapidly drink a beverage from a can by making a hole in the bottom of the can, placing the hole above one's mouth, and opening the top.
- Of or relating to a shotgun.
- The ground was littered with shotgun shells.
- Occurring as a result of the threat of force.
- a shotgun wedding
- Utilizing numerous or highly diverse means to achieve a particular result.